Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,540 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,540
Hads: 11,426
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 513
Gots: 2,451 | FT: 55
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,540 | Hads: 11,426
Photo of bearcamp
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They had this on tap @ the local flying saucer.

Wow! Wow! Wow! This is a great imperial stout. I was planning on getting a different beer but got another glass of Old Rasputin. Hopefully, I can find this in a bottle somewhere..

Appearance: About a 2 inch coca tinted head. Served in a unique glass that I don't know but it was between a pint and a snifter. Almost a wide wind glass.

Smell: Strong dark malt and a hint of coffee, but this had hops. i'm a hop head so this was a good thing

Taste. Smooth, nitro carbonated very flavorful. Love the hop taste of this beer.

Mouth feel. Very thick, probably because it was on tap. Like a hoppy thicker Guinness.

Drink ability: Do you have to ask? I ordered 3 of them that night. I wanted to try other brews but this one was so good I had to have more.

This is a great beer. Great example of an imperial IPA. Will definitely try more of this style in the future. Best non-Guinness stout I've had

 951 characters

Photo of BarleyWineRox
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a deep toffee head into my Duvel tulip. Very, very faint bready nose. As it warms nose is coming out a bit more giving off some roasty chocolate espresso notes. Time for a taste. Oh gosh! So much complexity after such a weak nose. Crazy! Chocolate, espresso, caramel, liquorish, mulled over with carbonation, with a tart bittering hop finish that I just love! Fantastique!

 395 characters

Photo of allrizz
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first RIS I've tasted and it is quite impressionable.

One of the reviews said the head reminded him of a reversed oil spill. I can't help but to agree. When I poured this bottle the first impression I got was that it looked like I spilled oil, not that that is a bad thing, looks are deceiving.

The head stayed at about two fingers and slowly dissipated. The color was very dark, which I like.

When I sniffed the glass the flavors that aroused my senses were molasses, coffee, and caramel.

The flavors I tasted were chocolate, coffee, molasses, and caramel all brought together with a nutty finish.

Without doubt a very bold flavor that remained with me after I finished the glass.

I recommend Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. I may even try brewing a batch myself. :)

 792 characters

Photo of mobius024
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured as noir as the heart of darkness from a 12 oz bottle. You cannot see a flashlight held on the other side of the glass.

The Monk Rasputin lost his balls on his assassination. This beer has not. It has all the requisite Russian Imperial Stout qualities: somewhat bitter, somehow caffeinated, and so on. Its suchness as an example of the style rests in how it combines the elements. The mouth feel starts as a hoppy/espresso-ish annunciation somewhere on the outskirts of taste and rises to ride through one's oral cavity, like a Cossack cavalry charge. That done, it retires to rest on the back of the tongue, awaiting recall. I can't exactly explain how, but the story that Rasputin was a womanizing peasant mystic fits this brew ...

(Addenda: at a much later date this beer continues to satisfy; but I did not note that the lacing is apparently painted on the glass, as it seems to remain forever.)

 907 characters

Photo of erratic
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thickest, darkest beer I've had...still hoping to try Darklord, though :) Creamy, mocha head.

Smells like coffee and chocolate. Really nice

Tastes great. Roasted malts, chocolate covered raisins, coffee and just a hint of celery. Yes, celery. Odd, but it works.

Chewy mouthfeel, smooth, low carbonation, slight astringency. The alcohol warms the throat.

High alcohol and strong flavors limit the drinkability a bit, but it tastes so damn fine, that I would keep drinking it if offered!

Overall, a top notch beer!

 517 characters

Photo of ReadyFireAim
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice! This is one of the reasons I fell in love with the RIS style!

A - Very dark, nearly black. The head retention on this beer is ridiculous. Kept its head for nearly a full two minutes, then settled nicely to a thin padding of creamy brown goodness. Also note that the head is made up of very tight, small bubbles. This usually signifies a long natural fermentation and conditioning (without the use of adjuncts to spur conditioning)

S - Great, great aromas. Licorice, dark Belgian candi, fruits and esters peeking through (a little bit of banana and lemon rind, maybe); slight hop astringency backed up with the roasty coffee smells you would hope to have in your stouts. Very nice.

T - What can I say? You've just got to bend the knee to this one. Let it wash over you and deliver everything that the aroma promises. Truly fantastic and complex.

M - Pretty nice mouthfeel. A little sticky (which is alright); slight astringency from the alcohol and hop characters.

D - I would give this a 5, but it's a bit too alcoholic to warrant more than two (unless of course you're home - then drink 'til your heart's content). Though for the style, you can't expect much less than 8-9% ABV, so I'm not saying it's wrong. Definitely a sip-and-savor beer. And a damn good one, at that.

For my money, I put this one right behind Sam Smith's RIS, and ahead of Victory's Storm King RIS. Seek and enjoy!

 1,403 characters

Photo of gruberbeer
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black beer. Nice tan, roasted-looking and toasty smelling head.

This beer is especially good during the winter, because it's heavy and warming. But it is oh so smooth. Flows around your mouth and over your tongue softly. Drink this beer when it is snowing outside and pair with a bowl of potato soup.

I love that I can go down to the store and get this beer almost anytime. It's beautiful and full of coffee and cigar flavors that you can savor.

 454 characters

Photo of cameraready
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown/black color with a nice thick tan head. Has a nice lacing effect on the glass as you drink it.

S: Has a hint of mocha/chocolate but mostly you can smell the alcohol.

T: Heavy malt flavor, mild bitterness. The roasted malts really add to the flavor.

M: Medium body with no carbonation.

D: Would get more of these in the future.

 352 characters

Photo of robobor
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter, this looks real good. Black with a light brown head, body is as near opaque as I've ever seen in a beer: there's no light coming through and there is minimal lacing. Smells like coffee, smells sweet. Really tastes like a coffee, has that bitter coffee acidity on the back of the tongue. Leads to a chocolatey burp. This beer stands up nicely to and complements well my dad's Christmas English Toffee. 9.0% is well hidden, I feel like I could put down quite a few of these.

 509 characters

Photo of tanousa
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pour a dark black color, intense , small lace foam with chocolate taste , great initial presentation.

S-strong coffee aroma , some chicolate, dark fruits.
T- Again, chocolate, coffee expresso, malts and hints of molasses.
M-Medium body, great carbonation, very well done.
D- Awesome, I can share a few with my pals, no problem !

 332 characters

Photo of MikeM40
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH Signature glass from a 12oz bottle. This beer pours black with a large lingering tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Noticeable aromas of roasted malt,chocolate,coffee,cherries,and anise rise from the glass. Strong roasted flavors,coffee,dark chocolate,with hints of dark fruits and plums. This beer also has a deep bitter component with a rich character. The only real knock on this beer is that the mouthfeel was a bit thin for an Imperial stout,if it was more viscous it would be an A+ beer to me. Any alcohol flavor is well hidden among the well balanced complexities and the great bitter coffee/licorice finish.

 635 characters

Photo of mjhorn
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this out of a bottle poured into a pint glass. First thing that stands out is the awesome look to the pour as the tan/brown head forms out the the opaque black beer. Ended up with about 2 fingers of creamy head. It fell back fairly quickly leaving a sticky lacking on the glass. The aroma was heavy with roasted malt, with hints of coffee and chocolate. Didn't catch any alcohol though from the 9% abv. Very smooth and creamy, with a nice balance of sweetness and chocolate, with bitterness from coffee and strong roasted malt flavors. Finishes cleanly with a slight lingering sweetness. While I didn't catch any in the nose, there is definitely a slightly warming alcohol present as you drink. Nothing overpowering or unpleasant though. Fairly light carbonation fits nicely with the rich full bodied beer. Overall I am impressed. One of the first true stouts I've tried and the introduction was well done. Might be setting the bar pretty high for the style

 961 characters

Photo of Pdu8s
2.99/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- The best part about this beer is how it looks. It is extremely dark, almost black, with a brown head. It looks delicious

S- Not much of a smell, but what you can smell is pretty similar to the taste.

T- Roasty, Tofee taste apparent, but it definitely gets overwhelmed by the alcohol taste. It has a warming finish, but this beer, to me, was too bitter and tasted too strongly of alcohol. Had an almost soap-like taste.

M- Not as thick as you might think, has a creamy consistency.

 486 characters

Photo of OdinMcHaggis
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4-pack $ 8.99

A: No smoke on opening, aggressive pour into a schooner, jet black, creamy head 1 finger thick and tan, nice retention and lacing
S: Caramel malt, sweet, coffee, boozy
T: Perfect hops, rich malt, nice finish, coffee
M: Thick with perfect carbonation, sticky with thick malted barley but not syrupy.
O: I like this beer! perfect balance, rich, 9%, and not too heavy.

I was looking forward to trying this beer. I like the label. It's made in the USA. What's not to like? I would buy more.

OK, I couldn't save any of 4-pack and there may be a new McHaggis on the way, I highly recommend this beer.

 611 characters

Photo of Thepumpkinpiper
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An incredible beer, yet one I think only dark-beer fanatics will enjoy.

Look: Pitch-black, beyond darkness. Generous dark tan head. Held up directly to the sunlight, not even one ray shines through this one. Intimidating.

Smell: Icy, smoky, with a huge dose of bitter roasted malt and some hops.

Taste: HUGE. A massive dose of jet-black roasted malt, spicy hops, coffee, some liquorice, bits of smoke.

Feel: Surprisingly not too oily but rather refreshing on the palate. Carbonation is inoffensive.

Overall, if you like dark beers, this is a significant one to at least try, even if it is too dark for one's taste in the end. For myself, it has rapidly become a favourite. An incredible, luxurious beer.

 710 characters

Photo of NovoAleMan
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A very excellent stout. I picked this up from a local store on my way to get lunch.

The appearance is classic, very dark. It produced a nice head of foam.

The smell is absolutely fantastic. I pick up hints of chocolate, coffee, and a light hint of some fruit, leaning towards a very light hint of cherry.

The taste is superb. It starts with a nice jolt of flavor that subsides into a coffee-like taste and feel. Low bitterness. Nice and rich.

It drinks very easily. This is a high-quality, top-notch beer.

EDIT: It also goes surprisingly well with the pizza sandwich I bought next door. Very good.

 602 characters

Photo of SanWrencho
3.06/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An OK brew but too aggressive and unbalanced and not malty enough to be a great stout IMHO. This brewery can produce some intriguing beers (Pranqster) but this one is too over the top. A better example of this style would be Zywiec Porter. Sometimes less *is* more.

 265 characters

Photo of bassfishingguy
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I drank this after having a bottle of Chocolate Sombrero (Clown Shoes). That being said, this one poured motor oil black with an exceptional tan head. Upon pouring, all I can really smell is chocolate, with some faint coffee in the background.

This one is tastes like chocolate, with a little coffee mixed in as well. I can also taste a very roasted flavor. I'll definitely drink this one again if I come across it.

 416 characters

Photo of stevegamburg
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After reading the low scoring reviews, I can understand why someone would hate Old Rasputin. But not a single "hardcore" Imperial Stout drinker will say that this is not a fantastic beer. Very full bodied, heavy, and complex. Burnt malt, coffee, and chocolate dominate the palate. Old Rasputin is, at least in the Chicago area, available at most liquor stores and Trader Joe's and is very reasonably priced ($6.99/4-pack). I always keep it stocked on my "stout shelf" (along with Victory Storm King).

 500 characters

Photo of Silenus
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a beautiful beer! This Imperial Stout pours a beautiful black with a thin caramel head. The aromas are of chocolate and coffee. The flavors are surprisingly smooth for a beer of this ABV. It has a full mouthfeel with a long, dry finish of burnt toast. The hops are perfectly balanced with the dark roasted malts. BALANCE is the key! Take my advice though, don’t have this with a sweet cookie for dessert ... match it with a piece for dark bitter chocolate. Excellent!

 473 characters

Photo of dustified1234567
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Black with a finger and a half of yellow brown head. It leaves a foam on the sides of the glass.

S- Strong hops smell and a little malty.

T- Malty coffee flavor that was really very good.

M- Fee carbonation start at the center of my tongue and spread out to my cheeks. Thick.

D- Drink slow to enjoy it. Very good Russian Imperial stout and I would definitely go and grab a few more.

 397 characters

Photo of kylephillips
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle.

Creamy looking head, tannish in color. Good head retention. Lacing sticks to side of glass. Beer is very dark brown, almost solid black, cannot see through it.

Smell is thick with chocolate flavors. Smells like it would be a very sweet drink.

Excellent mouth feel, with a decent amount of carbonation that sort of bites the tongue.

Initial taste is very sweet but immediately becomes bitter as you swallow. Finishes with an excellent roasty flavor that stays on your tongue. Almost has a salty taste that lingers.

Drinkability is good considering the finish leaves you wanting another sip for the initial sweetness.

 654 characters

Photo of ironchefchris
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin. I bought it for the title and the bottle and luckily the beer itself didn't disapoint. It's a traditional stout and pours super dark with a dark brown head. Smell was malty and strong and taste matched the smell perfectly. It's one of those beers that tastes pretty familiar, but it's just done very well and drinks super clean and super smooth. Unlike most stouts, this one didn't annoyingly linger in my mouth after swallowed. Some of these beers will do that and basically "film" in your mouth for a bit. This one didn't. If you like a stout, this one might be as good and consistant a stout as I've ever tried. Great beer. OLD RASPY!
*sidenote: i didn't catch much of a "dark fruit" or really much of anything but that traditional tofee malt taste. Maybe in the backend of the taste there was just a hint, but certainly not much

 846 characters

Photo of mpensworth
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark black with little tan head and awesome lacing. Smells like an evil chocolate coffee and tastes the same. Amazing coffee and malt tastes here, feels heavy in the mouth with a nice even carbonation. I love this beer, but after a pint or 2 that would be about it. It's perfect to sip at the end of the day, after dinner, just before you go to bed.

 362 characters

Photo of Oldscramch
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks black in the glass, with reddish brown at the top and bottom; can't see a damn thing through this beer. Light tan tracing of head around the rim.

Smell: Sweet. Malty, but with more hops than I was expecting in this beer. The alcohol does not come through in the taste.

Taste: Fairly bitter coffee taste that lingers in the mouth; not at all a bad thing, considering how well it plays with the overall flavour.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too light. clean, but hearty. There's a tingle on the tongue for a while afterwords.

 545 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,540 ratings.